4GLOBAL PLC sports data business to float on AIM

4GLOBAL

4GLOBAL plc today announces its intention to proceed with an initial public offering on AIM and to seek admission of its shares to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange. Admission is expected to take place in early December 2021.

4GLOBAL is a UK-based data, services and software company focused on major sporting events and the promotion and measurement of physical activity. The Company uses its proprietary data and software solutions to convert data into actionable insight which enables clients to promote sports participation, to reduce physical inactivity and to achieve economic, social, and healthcare outcomes.

Since inception 4GLOBAL has been involved in an impressive array of major sporting events ranging from the 2021 Tokyo, 2016 Rio and 2012 London Olympics to the 2020 UEFA European Football Championships, the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the 2019 Pan American Games.

The Company currently works with, and supports, a range of clients to address the problem of physical inactivity, to produce significant and measurable health, social and economic benefits. These include four separate categories:

  • Governments (e.g. the U.K. Government and Sport England);
  • Cities and local authorities (e.g. Neom, Saudi Arabia and Manchester, U.K.);
  • Sporting federations (e.g. the Football Association ‘FA’) and
  • Activity providers (e.g. The Gym Group).

Following the proposed Placing of up to £4m the Company’s market capitalisation on Admission is expected to be circa £20m. The net proceeds of the Placing are intended to accelerate 4GLOBAL’s growth, primarily through the acquisition of complementary businesses/product and the expansion of its existing client base.

Spark Advisory Partners is the Nominated Adviser to 4GLOBAL and Oberon Capital is the Company’s broker.

Highlights:

  • Government plans to address physical inactivity – The Company provides a proprietary, fully integrated technology and services platform, Sport Intelligence, which enables its clients to tackle the problem of physical inactivity. Physical inactivity is a major problem globally and imposes substantial economic costs throughout the developed world. Tackling physical inactivity in a targeted and measurable way is becoming a central part of government policy.
  • Significant market opportunity – There is a global trend which focuses on transitioning health systems in countries from treating illnesses to preventing illnesses in the first place. In the U.K., a 2015 Cabinet Office report estimated that physical activity (in all its aspects) contributed £39 billion pa to the UK economy, with around 50 percent of this coming from ‘individuals’ involvement in grassroots sport’.
  • Established existing client base – 4GLOBAL has a blue-chip client base comprising of governments, international sporting bodies, cities and local authorities and a range of public and private sector clients (e.g. Sport England, Lima Pan American Games, Neom, EuropeActive & Bid Opportunities). The inflection point for the Company was the 2012 London Olympics where data was used as an essential part of the Return on Investment (“ROI”) measurement of the event.
  • Proven data collection technology – At the core of the technology platform is the DataHub containing over 1.2 billion data points relating to the physical activity of 21 million individuals from 2,500 sporting facilities. Data being a core element of the business, 4GLOBAL has secured long-term rights to the physical activity data from a wide range of sporting facilities and platforms.
  • Scalable proposition – Now that the technology infrastructure is in place, the business is scalable. Incremental data sources serve to improve the quality of DataHub’s data thereby rendering the aggregated data more valuable over time.
  • Global objectives – The listing will allow the opportunity to replicate the success it has achieved in the U.K. across Europe and further overseas in developing longer-term revenue streams with local authorities and sporting bodies leveraging off initial involvement in major sporting events.
  • Group strategy – There are three planks to the strategy that underpins the delivery of the Company’s objectives:
  • Land and expand – The focus of this strategy is to drive growth in sales of the existing data and technology with a short-term focus on the U.K. and the European Union
    • International expansion – The Company is seeking to continue its international expansion – with a focus on Europe, North America and the Middle East, all regions in which the Company already has relationships and contracts. The Company intends to leverage its involvement in existing projects and established relationships in these territories.
    • Acquisition strategy – The Directors believe the Company has access to the necessary skills, both within the Company and amongst its advisors, to allow successful negotiation and execution of appropriate acquisitions at an attractive price, and to integrate within the Group.

Eloy Mazon, Chief Executive Officer of 4GLOBAL, commented:

“I am delighted to announce our intention to list on AIM. This is an important step in our growth journey as we scale the business and continue to aid our clients in the promotion of sports participation. We believe that the combined expertise of our Board will enable us to maximise opportunities and Admission will provide us with the credibility and access to  capital to support our growth.

“We are at a pivotal and exciting point in the Company’s development, and we very much  look forward to welcoming new investors as shareholders in this compelling business and working with all our stakeholders to achieve our goals.”

About

4GLOBAL is a UK-based data, services and software company focused on major sporting events and the promotion and measurement of physical activity. The Company uses its proprietary data and software solutions to convert data into actionable insight which enables clients to promote sports participation, to reduce physical inactivity and to achieve economic, social and healthcare outcomes.

The Company works with, and supports, a range of clients including governments (e.g. the U.K. Government and Sport England), cities and local authorities (e.g. Neom, Saudi Arabia, and Manchester, U.K.), sporting federations and activity providers (e.g. The Gym Group), to address the problem of physical inactivity, to produce significant and measurable health, social and economic benefits.

Historically, 4GLOBAL has used major sporting events as a catalyst to help address the issue of physical inactivity issue. Physical inactivity, the key problem addressed by the technology offering, is a global phenomenon. Across the globe, physical inactivity has yet to be met with concerted government action. Addressing this issue is an essential element of 4GLOBAL’s potential growth. Its relationships with governments, and public and international sports bodies, makes 4GLOBAL ideally placed to provide a solution.

Over time, the role that these sports and sporting events play at national and city (or in the U.K. at local authority) level has evolved. 4GLOBAL management identified the London 2012 Olympics as a transformational point. Since then, increasing emphasis has been placed on leaving a “legacy” once the event has ended – economic legacy (in terms of transformation and regeneration of host cities), social legacy (in terms of improving local/national health, crime reduction, education improvements) and participatory legacy (to increase the participation in sport by the host country’s population). 4GLOBAL’s management realised that measurement and monitoring of these outcomes requires relevant data. As a consequence, the Company has built the Sport Intelligence platform, which tracks and manages activity data that has been collected and stored on the Company’s DataHub, its GDPR-compliant database.

The Directors believe that demand for its offerings will continue to increase. This is driven by underlying growth in key channels to market, such as a long-standing relationship with the U.K. Government, and increased development of proprietary models that highlight the social return of investment in sport, rising health and social cost pressures, regulatory and technology change and continuing consolidation in the sports and technology services industry.

The Group also has a vision to capitalise on the transformation in the role of sport towards a wider public purpose around health and wellbeing through the promotion of physical activity, which in turn produces health benefits to people and society. In this way, and through its proprietary sports participation data platform, Sport Intelligence, the Company differentiates itself from more generalist sports and/or health technology and services businesses.

The Board

The Board consists of four non-executive directors and two executive directors, details of whom are set out below:

Ian James (aged 46), Non-Executive Chairman

Ian James has over 25 years’ digital data and technology experience and brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the business. Ian has held a number of leadership roles in Entertainment, FMCG, Media and Technology organisations, where he delivered transformation for businesses such as Chrysalis PLC, Bacardi Corporation, Aegis Group, Starcom MediaVest Group, Acxiom Limited and Verve Inc. Ian is currently Chief Executive of Silver Bullet Data Services Group plc, which was admitted to trading on AIM in June 2021, and serves on the Board of Local Planet as a non-executive director and fulfils the role of Global Chief Data, Technology and Analytics Officer. He joined the board of 4GLOBAL Consulting Limited in February 2021 and the Board of the Company in July 2021.

Eloy Mazon (aged 47), Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”)

The founder of 4GLOBAL, Eloy has established the Group as a leading provider of consultancy and data-led intelligence worldwide. Under his leadership, 4GLOBAL has been established as a leading provider of sport technology, data and insights to governments, cities, activity providers and sport federations around the world.

Eloy has worked with an impressive list of clients including over nine major sporting events (Olympics, FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euros, Commonwealth Games and Pan-American Games), multiple cities and governments around the world in the areas of sport, events and physical activity. Over the years, Eloy has developed an extensive network of contacts at C-suite level in the world of sport, cities and governments and is recognised as an expert in the field.

Eloy is an engineering graduate (BEng and MEng) and in 2002 he completed a full-time MBA at London’s Imperial College Business School. Eloy is currently a member of the Sport Economy advisory board to the UK Government.

Keith Sadler (aged 63), Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”)

Keith Sadler has over 30 years’ experience in Corporate Finance. He was responsible for a number of high-level M&A deals across the media sector in the 2000s. Keith was chief financial officer of News Communication & Media plc, which was acquired by Gannett U.K. Limited for £444 million, and The Wireless Group Plc, which sold to UTV Media plc for £100 million. He was, until June 2018, chief financial officer of A Spokesman Said Limited, an online price comparison site. Prior to this, Keith was chief financial officer of Dods Group PLC, a political communications business, and formerly chief operations officer and group finance director of WEARE 2020 plc. Keith is currently a non-executive director, and chairman of the audit committee, of two AIM-quoted companies, Warpaint plc and Hawkwing Plc (formerly TLA Worldwide plc, a Global sports management and events business). Keith will focus on delivering corporate structure guidance, fundraising/listing and M&A advice. Keith is a chartered accountant and holds an honours degree in economics from the University of Kent. He joined the Board in October 2021.

Steven Clarke (aged 47), Non-Executive Director

Steven is a serial entrepreneur with significant experience in the digital media industry. He is currently Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of WithU Holdings Limited, a fitness and technology company delivering digital solutions on multiple platforms, prior to which he co-founded Mobile5 Media Ltd, which was acquired by Omnicom Media Group in 2018, and served as managing director of Bluestar International Limited. Steven also previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Bluestar Mobile Group plc, which was admitted to trading on AIM in 2005 and sold its trading business to Bluestar International Limited in 2008, and as director of Rivals Digital Media Ltd, a company formed by the merger of 365 PLC with the Internet division of Chrysalis Media Ltd. Steven also co-founded Property Jungle Limited in April 1999, which, at the time, became the largest online property portal in the UK within 12 months of inception, having sold Creative Catering Ltd earlier in 1999, a company he had founded in 1995. He joined the Board in October 2021.

Roger Taylor – (aged 56), Non-Executive Director

Roger is an experienced chair working in the public sector and operating at senior levels of government. He has experience of leading organisations through large scale transformation and managing crises. Key areas of expertise include regulation and policy making; AI and data driven technology; innovation and start-ups; public services including health, education and criminal justice; strategy development; PR and media handling.

Roger is a successful entrepreneur who co-founded and led an innovative data and media business, Dr Foster Limited (now called Telstra Health UK Limited), to £30 million turnover and exit by sale to an international telco. He is Chair of Ofqual, the exam regulator, overseeing the successful introduction of reformed general qualifications (GCSEs and A-Levels); and Chair of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, a new government advisory body addressing the use of Artificial Intelligence and algorithmic decision systems. He joined the Board in October 2021.

Alexandra Orlando – (aged 35), Non-Executive Director

Alexandra Orlando is an Olympian, Pan American and Commonwealth Games Champion in the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. With over 15 years of experience in the international sports movement, she has a background in large scale multi-sport event delivery and marketing providing an in-depth understanding of brand & community-building, sponsorship, broadcast and digital innovation.

Over the last 4 years as the Marketing Director for Panam Sports, she has led the organisation through a strategic shift to a more sustainable, profitable business elevating the Pan American Games in the market. Alexandra is a keynote speaker, published author and has served on a number of advisory boards with the International and Canadian Olympic Committee. She joined the Board in October 2021.

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